I have heard many people diss Call of Duty 3 for quite a long time, and I must put in my two cents, I will say it is a very good game. The great tragedy of it is that it could have been a great game.
The graphics are top-notch, the voice acting is wonderful, the lines are usually witty or angsty enough to hold your attention, and it is fun to play through it.
My first indication that not all was right was at the very beginning, however, when I was looking at the first level, ST.Lo, and it was subtitled "The Bloodiest Battle of the War." Apparently the developers know nothing about much of WWII, from the Africa Campaigns (during the early which the Western Allies killed around 30,000 Germans and captured over 115,000 before the arrival of Rommel), OVER HALF of the battles of the Eastfront, and in general WWII in Europe.
I shrugged it off as a little biased advertising. Than I noticed that while in the tuck in the beginning, there was this one soldier who was left behind, and the troops in the truck were goading him to get into it, and just before he did, he was struck and killed by an artillery shell (likely a mortar) now, I was kind of irritated at this, as I than realized that the game would likely use the same system of "scripted deaths" like Brothers in Arms. More on that later.
Than, after the entrance into the battle itself, I was killing Germans like no tomorrow. THAT was plenty fun, with the various death actions, and even a few trying to lash out one last time as they went down.
On one of the corpses, I noticed something that shook the sense of realism. On the uniform was the trademark black badge and white lightning that was the telltale mark of the Waffen SS in history. And the game they were used to represent Hans Landser, a standard grunt. Now people, let me make this clear once and for all: YOU ARE HIRED TO MAKE A GAME BASED ON HISTORY!!!! PLEASE KNOW THE DAMNED DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SS AND THE NORMAL ARMY! THANK YOU! Now, I would be more than willing to put up with some uniform indescrepencies, as I usually am happy to do, but that was the start.
Than came the melee portion, which happened for no real reason. It WAS fun to play, do not get me wrong, but it was seemingly contrived to fit it in there somewhere. And to top it off, after said Jerry is dead (from the butt of his own rifle nonetheless) I see my guys just.....standing there. doing nothing. And than came the idea where somehow, a couple times in the game, you see a Normal Sherman killing a Panzer IV and even a Tiger with a single direct hit to the frontal heavy armor. Not even a Sherman Firefly (which I could understand pulling off once in a while) but a normal Sherman Tank. This is because, according to the game, all tanks of the same designation (medium tank, heavy tank etc) are created equal. Now, I prefer the historical stats, like who remembers what a great job that Tiger did creating tension in the one mission near Villers-Bocage in Call of Duty 2? Gamers are not stupid, and we wish to face the troubles that they often faced in battle from the comfort of our own room.
I must say though, that you can actually *get* into the characters, Keith the Scot, Major Ingram, Dixon (or Dix), Roubichard (the French-Canadian), Guzzo, you can actually feel the individuality of the characters, and you can enjoy their interactions with each other.
The one group that I believe was not well developed was the Poles. Don't get me wrong, you have to admire their audacity, but Poland was relagated to providing a few units, and they were very few in number. You only see them on two missions, which is not nearly enough.
Control is mostly straight forward, but some of the "context" controls are seriously crazy. It would not be so bad if it were sensible, as I can understand say the context actions on Demolitions and fighting with the Crane on the Falaise Road Canadian mission, but going so far as to use it for using an anti-tank gun makes no sense, as it would be relativly simple (but slow) movement.
Some weapons are misrepresented as well, such as the Lee Enfield, which is portrayed as both weaker and less accurate than the German Kar98, when the reverse is true.
Overall, I believe it could have been great had it only been more consistent and intelligently done.
My advise to the developers:
* Take the melee out of some scripted events and add it to combat in general.
* STUDY THE OTHER PARTS OF WWII OUTSIDE THE NORMANDY CAMPAIGN!!!!!!!!!!
* Increase the length of the game, give more time to flesh the characters out.
*FOR GOD'S SAKE, ALLOW THE PLAYER TO DO SOMETHING TO SAVE A CHARACTER THAT IS NOT SCRIPTED, AND ALLOW CHARACTER DEATHS THAT ARE NOT SCRIPTED!
It is a very good game, but a little bit more common sense and effort could have made it a great game.